What makes for a great self-publishing company?

Many of the questions I hear most often, working as I do in the self-publishing business, can be distilled down to one very simple one: “What makes for a great self-publishing experience?”  The answer is equally simple: “A high-quality self-publishing company.”

First, we have to consider the business side of things.  A self-publishing company is, in the end, a company––and a company works according to profit.  As end users, either clients or readers, we want to know that we are receiving the best possible product and service for our investment.  You definitely want to look for a balance of:

  • reliability
  • affordability
  • quality production
  • excellent customer service, and
  • out-of-the-box thinking and solutions on offer

Of course, we don’t want to reduce the process of writing and publishing a book down to a simple exercise in corporate dynamics.  Book lovers, both writers and readers, know that there’s something, well, special about literature.  The advent of self-publishing has seen fierce debates spring up over the role of literary agents and publishing companies as “gatekeepers” for the written word, and rightfully so.  The stakes are very, very high when it comes to the stories we create and let influence our lives.  And because the stakes are high, it’s important that we look for a few more things out of a great self-publishing company, in addition to sound business practice.  We should look for:

  • sound ethics (from start to finish)
  • self-awareness (including of the company’s place and stance on being a “gatekeeper”)
  • authenticity (including a genuine interest in the client’s and reader’s satisfaction), and
  • sensitivity to a changing market and a changing world (which can translate to adaptability, but also to advocacy in the broadest and best sense)

Do your research!  Check online for customer satisfaction ratings––impartial ones––and contact the companies you’re interested in beforehand to gauge their possibilities.  After all, once you commit to a self-publishing company, you’re likely to be in close contact with them for quite a long time.

Now, someone might honestly point out that I work for one specific self-publishing company and therefore that I’m likely to view my own company in a favorable light, but here’s the thing: a great self-publishing company doesn’t need to be territorial.  All a great self-publishing company needs to do is offer a good product––a great package––and a service that puts its clients first and advocates endlessly for them.  The wonderful thing about the self-publishing industry is that at its core, it is a kind of fellowship of free (or freer) spirits who believe that the more voices that are heard, the more stories that are told, the better off we will all be.  So I’m not just an advocate for one company; I’m an advocate for the whole movement!

 

These are just a few thoughts to get us started.  What do you think makes for a great self-publishing company?  Drop me a line in the comments section to join the conversation.

 

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

2015 Writing Goals: Where Do You Stand?

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Each week in January I offered tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year. (Be sure to check out the previous weeks’ posts if you missed them.) Now that the end of January is here, I think it’s a good time to look back at the goals you set and evaluate where are you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you accomplished the goals you set for January?
  • Has your vision for your writing project changed?
  • Do the goals you set still seem realistic?
  • Are you still motivated to accomplish your goal?
  • What obstacles have you faced so far?
  • What excuses have kept you from writing?

Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Consider what you need to change in order to be successful throughout the year. It’s okay to change your goals to make them more achievable.

I encourage you to do this check at the end of every month throughout the year. Hold yourself accountable, and re-evaluate your goals. Make changes that will help you be successful. Remember, writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

The One Sentence that Will Help You Become A Professional Author

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Well, I’m here to help. Each week in January I will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts every week throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author. (Be sure to check out the previous week’s post about setting writing goals and writing tips.)

This week, I’d like to share one simple sentence that can help your dreams of publishing come true: I am a writer.

Unfortunately, many people don’t consider themselves “writers.” The reasons are countless:

  • They’re embarrassed.
  • They’ve never published any of their work.
  • They haven’t wrote anything recently.
  • They don’t write materials that most people ever read.
  • They’re afraid of how people will react.
  • And other silly and unjustified reasons.

Chances are, if you are here reading this blog post, you are a writer! It’s time you squashed your fears and excuses and start telling yourself and the world “I am a writer.” Hold yourself accountable for your dreams. Act like the writer you want to be, and you will become that person.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

How to Be a Better Writer in 2015

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Well, I’m here to help. Each week in January I will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts every week throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author. (Be sure to check out last week’s post about setting writing goals.)

This week, I’d like to share some tips that will not only help you achieve your goal of publishing but will also improve your craft. Here are six tips that will make you a better writer this year.

1. Follow your heart.

Don’t worry about what is popular right now or stress over what readers will think of your work. The best writing comes from the heart, and you will be more fulfilled if you write what you are passionate about.

2. Step outside your box.

To learn and grow, you must try new things. Experiment with a new genre. Develop a character that is vastly different from your normal characters. Visit a new place. Try a new food. Listen to a different band. Be willing to take risks in both your life and your writing.

3. Treat it like a job.

Stop waiting for inspiration and start writing every day without excuses. You may not love what you write everyday, but at least you will get words down on paper. You can always rewrite later, and most people find the words start flowing once they just sit down and start writing. You’ll never be a published writer if you never actually write.

4. Read. Read. Read.

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, for adults or children, the best thing you can do for your career is read! Read everything. Books, magazines, newspapers. Read various genres. Read top sellers as well as indie authors. Read about the subject you write about. Read about things you’ve never heard of. Read books for children. Read the classics. Read as much as you can.

5. Rewrite as many times as you need.

Most first drafts need a rewrite. Many second and even third drafts could use a rewrite. Don’t feel so pressured to complete your manuscript that you settle for less than your best, but be careful not to get so caught up in perfection that you never finish.

6. Unplug.

When you are writing, editing, researching, or brainstorming, unplug. Log out of your social media sites. Turn off the TV and cell phone. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you’ll be by following this simple tip.

I’d love to know, what is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Here’s to 2015, The Year You Publish a Book

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Well, I’m here to help. Each week in January I will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts every week throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author.

So let’s get started.

The first thing you must do if you want to accomplish your goal is break it down into smaller, more manageable and measurable tasks. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, getting side tracked, and losing inspiration.

I find it helpful to have a calendar in front of me when I complete this task to help with setting deadlines and factoring in events that may impact my writing goals.

Now ask yourself these questions:

1) How much time do I need to dedicate to writing each day, week, or month?

2) When do I want to complete my first draft?

3) How much time do I need to edit my first draft?

4) What tasks besides writing (i.e., researching, marketing, etc.) will I need to complete?

5) When do I want to start the publishing process?

6) How will I fund my project?

7) What will help me be successful?

Using your answers to these questions, write down small, measurable goals for your project and put them some place you will see them often. Be sure to periodically check your progress and adjust your goals as needed.

I’d love to know, what are your 2015 writing goals?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.